Better late than never right?
I've been thinking a lot about trials lately, and how kind Heavenly Father is in helping to prepare us for them. My greatest experience in this area was when I lost my first child, and I wanted to share some of the things I learned after going through that devastating loss.
First, I believe that everything we pass through is a unique mission and opportunity that was prepared for us before we came. I strongly feel that our challenges were presented to us in our premortal life, and that we agreed to and possibly volunteered for those things which would be difficult to go through. After J and I arrived at the hospital thinking we were going to bring home our brand new little girl, and they found there was no heart beat...I was overcome with a remembrance that this had been in the plan all along. In deed, I could literally remember my little Elizabeth asking me if I would offer to be her mother and help create her little body, even if she would not be able to stay, and I would not be able to raise her in this life. Knowing that I had volunteered to make this sacrifice for her was my greatest source of comfort in the following days of grief.
Second, I learned that Heavenly Father is there in our times of ease and prosperity, gently preparing us for what lies ahead. Just a few days before Elizabeth was born, J and I went to temple sqaure to watch the Joseph Smith movie in the Legacy theatre. I remember being overwhelmed with how many trials Joseph and Emma had to go through, and as we walked out of that movie I gazed up at the temple and wondered, "Why is my life so EASY??" I know that Heavenly Father was helping prepare me for my greatest trial so far. That night as we were driving home, I heard a little question being asked in my head, and turned to ask J. "If we lost this baby, would we still use the name we picked out?" We both agreed that of course we would use her name, and quickly changed the subject. I know that Elizabeth was there with us, and that she wanted to make sure she was going to keep her pioneer grandmother's name.
Third, I know that death is an amazing window of opportunity for families to come closer together, and for us to share our testimonies with everyone around us. When something so devastating happens, everyone around us is more softened and sensitive- and we have a great opportunity to get into their hearts with our words. The day we got home from the hospital without our little girl, we had several visitors. I felt so bouyed up by the spirits on the other side, that I was pouring out comfort and testimony of Heavenly Father's plan to everyone who came into our home. They were all so surprised that they had come to comfort us, but on the contrary, we were comforting them. I could feel the result of all the prayers being raised up in our behalf, and the strength of the spirits in our home was overwhelming.
Looking back, I am so amazingly thankful Heavenly Father trusted me with that great opportunity to be an instrument in his hands in creating a body for one of his perfect children. I am thankful that I'm able to use that experience to bear testimony of His awareness and love. He is very aware of what we are going through, and will go through- and we knew about it too. We just need to hold on to that, and know that we were chosen for our certain tasks before we ever came.